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The English scientist Sir Humphrey Davy was so smitten by Podkoren, the hiding place of the emerald green Zelenci lake that spawns the Sava river, that he called the area “my old nest”. The history of this mysterious little village, which still harbours memories of the times before tourism reached the Upper Sava Valley, is older by far. In the 15th Century a paved road was already running through the village between Carniola and Carinthia, and the postal coach was bringing news of the outside world across the Korensko sedlo (Koren Pass) at the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This remained the principal route between central and northern Europe until the Caravanche Tunnel was completed in 1990. Podkoren resembles Kranjska Gora in least three respects: its history, its geographical position near the meeting point of the Slovenian, Italian and Austrian borders, and the boost to tourism that both receive from the “heroes of the white slopes” at the World Skiing Championships. Tourists will find that the cosmopolitan flavour of Kranjska Gora blends perfectly with the idyllic peace of Podkoren. If Kranjska Gora is the region’s cultural centre, then Podkoren is its Alpine heart.

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